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DMCA request removes Moz from Google Search index

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DMCA request removes Moz from Google Search index

If you search for “*” in Google Search you will not see the moz.com homepage. This is because the Google index was removed due to a DMCA Takedown Request. The takedown complaint cites that Moz’s home page, along with 185 other URLs were “distribute modified, cracked and unauthorized versions” of the Dr. Driving app.

The takedown complaint. The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) takedown complaint is available over here . You can see the Moz home page listed on line 122. As Cyrus Shepard posted on Twitter “Crazy! Right now, you can’t get to the Moz homepage via Google. Searching for Moz returns 8 results. An overly broad DMCA filing resulted in the removal of results. The DMCA allows anyone to abuse it, which is a violation of Google’s policies.

Google is aware. Danny Sullivan, the Google Search Liaison responded saying “I’ve passed it on for review.” We suspect Google will reverse this issue really quickly – but so far, Moz is still not showing.

The Google search results. Here is a screenshot of the search results page showing the Moz blog coming up in the first position, not the Moz home page:

The footer of the Google results show that Google “removed 8 result(s) from this page” due to DMCA violations:

Should not happen but it does. You are probably wondering why this could happen. It is so easy to ask for a DMCA to remove a well-respected brand from the Google Search results. You are correct, it shouldn’t happen.

We had our own site, Search Engine Land mistakenly removed from Google because Google thought the site was hacked – it was not hacked. Digg was also was removed from Google Search because someone accidentally classified it as spam.

I guess even big companies make mistakes. How? But we don’t yet know. We reached out to Google for clarification. If we receive a response, we’ll update the story.

More on DMCA requests and Google Search. Google has its transparency report that says “It is our policy to respond to clear and specific notices of alleged copyright infringement. Our web form specifies the form of notice that we will use to notify copyright owners in their country/region. It is compatible with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. A copyright owner that believes the URL is infringing sends us a notice to initiate delisting of content from Search results. Our teams review the takedown notice carefully for any errors and verify that it is complete. If the notice is complete and we find no other issues, we delist the URL from Search results.”

You can dispute these requests and have them reversed but how long does that take? You can submit DMCA requests to Google over here.

Why we care. This is an issue for many SEOs as well as site owners. You will be removed from Google Search for the branded term. This should never happen. It is truly inexcusable.

We can’t predict when Moz will be back, but we don’t know how you can prevent it from happening on your website. Moz, a large enough company that Google noticed quickly that it was addressing this issue soon, is the good news. Good luck to small businesses.


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    About The Author

    Barry Schwartz a Contributing Editor to Search Engine Land and a member of the programming team for SMX events. He owns RustyBrick, a NY based web consulting firm. He also runs Search Engine Roundtable, a popular search blog on very advanced SEM topics. Barry can be followed on Twitter here.

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